Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Labor and Postpartum
I am so grateful to have an abundance of the highest quality essential oils at my fingertips to support my client's journey through pregnancy, birth and beyond. It's important to use nothing but the most pure and safe, therapeutic-grade essential oils because store-bought oils can have solvents, pesticides, synthetics and other chemicals. You cannot tell by looking at the label. Remember everything we put onto our skin also goes into our body. No oils are more thoroughly tested than doTERRA which is why I only trust them to use on my family and clients. I've long valued the benefits of essential oils for mamas and babies, using aromatherapy massage oils with my pregnant clients and blending beautiful labor oils and mists to bring along in my birth bag as a doula. The experience of growing and birthing a baby is an extraordinary one, in which a mother experiences changes physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. It's also a sensitive developmental period, in which women are very aware that chemicals, pharmaceuticals, pollutants, and environmental influences can effect our baby's health significantly. Thus, natural and pure essential oils from plants are a nurturing and gentle addition to a women's self-care tool kit during pregnancy, birth and beyond. In early pregnancy, my most used oils are for digestive support, emotional support and skin care. I also used other specific oils for immune and respiratory support as individual issues come up over the months.
ALWAYS dilute for little ones to avoid irritation or sensitization, to aid in absorption and also to expose the babies to a lower amount of the oils. While our pure oils are very safe, the liver can only process so much at a time, so there’s no reason to overdo or waste money by using them undiluted. For newborns/infants/babies dilute 1 drop of essential oil per 1 tablespoon of carrier oil
Essential Oils for Pregnancy
Ginger This spicy earthy root creates a beautiful energizing essential oil produced from fresh ginger in Madagascar. Great to use for pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting. Calms digestion and queasiness and a good oil to keep by your bed, in the bathroom, by your desk and in your purse. This earthy oil also promotes feelings of courage and confidence. Lemon This essential citrus oil is bright and refreshing and is a great combination with ginger to smell or diffuse. I loved diffusing ginger and lemon essential oils together in the morning first thing, to help me start off the day with greater ease. The combo is like ginger lemonade, so good! Lemon is also naturally cleansing, so a great oil to freshen the air with. Bergamot Bergamot is another beautiful citrus oil which is very beneficial for boosting mood and emotions. Pregnancy can bring lots of emotions along the journey, and bergamot is one of my favorites to reach for to smell or to mix in blends for massage or diffusing to brighten my spirits. Peppermint Peppermint is one of many pregnant women's favorite oils for digestive support and calming the tummy. Avoid peppermint during breastfeeding, as it could reduce milk supply. Cardamom Cardamom creates a spicy sweet aroma that is very effective at suppressing queasiness, and thus another great supportive oil for the digestion. Cardamom also blends well with ginger to smell or diffuse, with a scent evoking chai. Lavender Lavender is the most popular essential oil used in the world for good reason. It supports calm, relaxed feelings as well as having benefits for the skin and body. Lavender is a wonderful oil to have in your essential oil toolkit for a multitude of purposes, but especially for reducing stress and enhancing restfulness in pregnancy. Ylang Ylang Ylang ylang is a beautiful floral essential oil that is calming and uplifting. It's a favorite oil to blend with bergamot, lavender and other relaxing oils for an emotionally balancing aromatherapy experience. One of my favorite uses for ylang ylang in pregnancy is with lavender and geranium in a warm foot bath with epsom salts and baking soda - this is a great way to ground and release stress at the end of a day, as well as to ease tired pregnant feet. Melissa Melissa is the essential oil of the lemon balm herb, and thus has a lemony sweet and green scent. Melissa is a precious oil that is very gentle, yet highly effective at calming the nervous system as well as supporting the body's immune system. Geranium Geranium is a sensual floral essential oil that is balancing for the skin, supportive of the immune system, and has calming and grounding effects on the mood. Immortelle Immortelle is an amazing doTERRA blend of essential oils, including frankincense, Hawaiian sandalwood, myrrh, and rose, which is wonderful to massage on the growing pregnancy belly to support skin appearance and tone.
Essential Oils for Labor
Geranium Enhances circulation and is good for labor management techniques, which focus on breathing and pain relief. Basil Used to relieve pain during labor and in turn gives you the strength needed to endure with greater ease. Have your birth partner rub diluted Basil on your lower back to help with back labor. Black Pepper Similar to basil and can be used to relieve pain in labor. This is especially helpful for back labor. Massage diluted on to lower back. Lavender Great for diffusing in labor room to bring on a sense of calm. Peppermint Eases nausea. Can help re-energize. Diffuse or use diluted along the spine. Clary Sage Uterine tonic that assists with effective contractions. It may help strengthen contractions once they have started. It doesn’t bring on contractions unless everything is already in alignment for labor. Once labor has started, you can apply a drop topically to your pinky toes at the nail bed, the inside ankle bones on both feet, and on the low abdomen every fifteen to twenty minutes or until the strength of the contractions has increased. Not recommended until contractions have started or after forty weeks. Also can be used for anxiety. Calms the nervous system, relieves tension, strengthens labor, and helps with expelling afterbirth. Blends well with Geranium and Lavender. Helichrysum Perineum Support. Helps to stretch tissue while minimizing discomfort and swelling.
Essential Oils for Postpartum
After Pains Massage diluted lavender or clary sage onto lower abdomen. Anxiety Inhale orange or lavender, or use in a diffuser to benefit everyone in the family. Roman Chamomile and Frankincense are also helpful. CesareanSection Incision Care (Only to be used once incision has scabbed) Apply Lavender, Frankincense, and Helichrysum to promote healing. Add Melaleuca if infection is a concern. Perineum Care Prepare at least one of these remedies in advance; they are perfect for soothing soreness or sutures. Peri Mist Add a few drops of Geranium, Lavender, and Helichrysum to a small misting bottle. Top with carrier oil. Mist onto the tender area frequently. Soothing Pads Add 20-30 drops of Lavender, Roman Chamomile, or Geranium to a bottle of witch hazel. Shake mixture well and apply to large maxi pads. Place pads in the freezer until needed. Use during the healing process. Postpartum Sadness Use a combination of Lavender, Frankincense, and Clary Sage in a diffuser, in a bath, or use with carrier oil for a massage. Apply to the bottoms of the feet several times a day
Essential Oils for Breastfeeding
Cracked Nipples Our Nipple Butter is an all natural, organic, GMO free salve that can be applied to sooth cracked nipples. Lavender can also be mixed in and can bring on a sense of calm for both mom and baby when breastfeeding is causing anxiety and stress. Fussiness Diffuse Lavender and/or Orange to help calm mom and baby. Mastitis Don’t stop nursing/pumping. Use Lavender on top of each infected breast throughout the day. Massage the following blend over the entire breast: 10 drops each Melaleuca, Lavender, Roman Chamomile in 2 tablespoons carrier oil. Massage from armpits toward the nipple. If symptoms do not get better within a day or two seek professional help. Milk Supply Apply 1-2 drops on top of each breast for each of the following suggestions Starting Production Clary Sage (AVOID Peppermint in essential oil or tea form. In some women, it may reduce milk supply). Increasing Milk Basil or Fennel (do not use fennel for more than 10 days at a time). Drink plenty of water, rest as much as possible, and eat a nourishing diet. Decreasing Milk Supply Peppermint. Start slowly; for some the effect is mild and gentle, while others, milk supply drops dramatically.
* Don’t wait to seek support if you are having difficulty. Contact a lactation specialist, or find a local La Leche League meeting at www.llli.org . If you need any recommendations please reach out.
Essential Oils for Baby
(Dilution for babies: 1 drop per 2 teaspoons of carrier oil) Basil Earache, Insect bite, Respiratory health, Nausea, Immune support Lavender Emotional upset, Skin issues, Sleeplessness, Aches and Pains, Colic Lemon Runny nose and Congestion, Anxiety, Airborne and Surface germs Melaleuca Germs, Wounds, Immune support, Yeast overgrowth Roman Chamomile Emotional upset, Irritability, Skin irritation, Teething Colic Apply Fennel to the belly button. Apply Lavender to the bottoms of feet. Congestion/Runny nose Apply lemon on chest or to the bottoms of feet. Constipation Use grapefruit or ginger. Apply to stomach. Cord-stump care Apply Lavender or Myrrh. Cradle cap Apply Lavender and organic olive oil to the scalp 1 hour before bath time, rinse well. Diaper rash Apply sore bottom spray or soft and dry powder (recipes below) Digestive support Apply a Digestive blend, Fennel, or Ginger to the belly button. Earache Apply Melaleuca, Basil, and Lavender Liver Support Apply lemon to the bottoms of feet. Immune System Apply Basil, Frankincense, or Melaleuca to the feet. Insect bites Apply Basil or Lavender Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis) Apply Lavender to the bottoms of feet. Teething Apply Lavender and Roman Chamomile along jawline.
Baby Care Recipes
Sore Bottom Spray (For areas of skin irritation or diaper rash) 4 Tbsp. carrier oil 1 drop each: Melaleuca, Lavender, Roman Chamomile Instructions: Add ingredients to a small glass spray bottle. Mist onto affected areas as needed. Moisturizer 2 oz. organic olive or coconut oil 2 drops Lavender Instructions: Combine oils in a dark glass bottle. Apply to clean, damp skin. Soft and Dry Powder 4 oz bentonite clay powder 1 drop each: Melaleuca and Lavender Instructions: Add all ingredients to shaker or spice jar. Shake well to distribute oils. Sprinkle as needed. *Works great as dry shampoo as well. All Natural Hand Sanitizer 1 Tbsp. purified water 5 drops Melaleuca, Lemon, or Lavender 1/4 tsp. witch hazel (optional) Instructions: Place ingredients in small glass spray bottle. Shake before each use. Germ Fighting Spray 10-15 drops Lemon or Melaleuca Instructions: Add oil to empty glass spray bottle and fill with water. Shake and spray on surfaces such as toys and countertops, bathtubs, etc.. Allow to dry.